Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Eric Melzer
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Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Eric Melzer
Symphony Concert 11
Berlin Philharmonic | Kirill Petrenko | Patricia Kopatchinskaja
At the beginning of the 1920s, Arnold Schoenberg invented his twelve-tone system, convinced that he had thus “ensured the supremacy of German music for the next hundred years.” But the Germans showed poor gratitude in return. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, they drove the Viennese composer, who was at the time a professor teaching in Berlin, into American exile. He wrote his Violin Concerto there, following the rules of twelve-tone technique, but that was not so important to Schoenberg. The composer was more interested in profound feelings, in the “circulatory and nervous systems” of his music. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Kirill Petrenko take him at his word. They perform a “sparkling and seductive” Schoenberg, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung put it, such that the piece “becomes a relative of the palatable Tchaikovsky Concerto.” In the second part, the Berlin Philharmonic offers Tchaikovsky himself, in the form of the Fifth Symphony, which once again finds the composer struggling against the power of fate – this time, even with a happy ending. But Tchaikovsky had not yet spoken his final word as a symphonist …
Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019
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Berliner Philharmoniker | Kirill Petrenko © Monika Rittershaus
In 1882 a group of 54 ambitious musicians in Berlin formed an orchestra to perform concerts under their own aegis, thus giving birth to the Berlin Philharmonic. As their leader they chose Hans von Bülow, one of the finest conductors of the era, who laid the foundations for the Philharmonic’s culture of distinguished playing. His successors have included Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furt-wängler (1922–54), and Herbert von Karajan (1955–89), all of whom developed the signature Berlin sound. It was in the Karajan era that the Berlin Philharmonic attained worldwide fame through its tours and many prize-winning recordings. Since October 1963, the Philharmonic’s home has been the Philharmonie in Berlin, a 2,400-seat concert hall designed by Hans Scharoun. After Karajan’s death in 1989, the players elected Claudio Abbado as their leader. He expanded the repertoire to include contemporary works and introduced program cycles focusing on specific themes. Sir Simon Rattle, who stood at the helm from 2002 until the summer of 2018, performed music from the Baroque to the present. Kirill Petrenko began his tenure as Chief Conductor in August 2019; in his inaugural season, he will conduct such symphonic milestones as Beethoven’s Ninth and Mahler’s Sixth as well as music by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Josef Suk. With its Digital Concert Hall, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019, the orchestra meanwhile reaches an audience of millions around the world and annually streams 40 concerts live on the Internet. The ensemble has been releasing CDs and DVDs on its in-house Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label since 2014. Once a year, the musicians also perform as an opera orchestra during their Easter Festival, which has been taking place in Baden-Baden since 2013. The Berlin Philharmonic performed Verdi’s Otello there in 2019, and for 2020 they have programmed Beethoven’s Fidelio, conducted by Petrenko.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) on 30 August 1958 playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Herbert von Karajan.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de
August 2019Other dates
Kirill Petrenko © Kai Bienert
Kirill Petrenko, who became Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic as of August 2019, was born in the Siberian city of Omsk in 1972. At the age of 18, he moved with his family to Vorarlberg in Austria. Following his conductor training at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, he worked as an assistant and lead conductor at the Vienna Volksoper starting in 1997; he subsequently became Music Director at the Meiningen Theater (from 1999 to 2002). Petrenko first attracted international attention in 2001 when he conducted Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the production by Christine Mielitz with designs by Alfred Hrdlicka. From 2002 to 2007, he was General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. He also appeared at the Bavarian and Vienna State Opera companies, Dres-
den Semperoper, Oper Frankfurt, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opéra Bastille in Paris, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and the Salzburg Festival. From 2013 to 2015, he conducted a new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival. In the fall of 2013, Petrenko took up his post as General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera, which he will hold until the end of the 2019-20 season. In the concert hall, he has conducted the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin and Dresden Staatskapelle, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the London and Israel Philharmonics. Kirill Petrenko made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in February 2006 with works by Bartók and Rachmaninoff. The orchestra elected him to be its future Chief Conductor in June 2015. During his first season at the helm, he will conduct the musicians in five programs and in May 2020 will tour with them to Israel.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2016, when Petrenko conducted the Bavarian Staatsorchester in a Wagner-Strauss program.
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Patricia Kopatchinskaja © Julia Wesely
The violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja was born in 1977 in Chişinău in the Republic of Moldova into a musical family – her mother is also a violinist and her father plays cimbalom. In 1989 the family emigrated to Vienna, where Kopatchinskaja began her studies at the Music Academy at the age of 16; she transferred four years later to the Academy of the Arts in Bern, completing her education there with Igor Ozim. She became known in professional circles through her victory at the International Szeryng Competition (2000) and won the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2002. Today Kopatchinskaja works with leading orchestras and attracts attention through her unusual, often radical performances. Equally at home in early music, the Romantic repertoire, and contemporary fare, she is also an animated chamber musician and designs staged concerts. As LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s “artiste étoile” in 2017, she was able to showcase this wide spectrum. In the 2018-19 season, Kopatchinskaja appeared under Kirill Petrenko with the Bavarian Staatsoper Orchestra as well as the Berlin Philharmonic. She made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra with Peter Eötvös’s violin concerto Seven, played the Tchaikovsky Concerto on a tour with Teodor Currentzis to Japan, and concertized with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Kent Nagano. She also joined with musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic to sing and play as the narrator in Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Among the awards that Kopatchinskaja’s recordings have garnered are the International Classical Music Award, the Prix Caecilia, and Gramophone magazine’s Recording of the Year Award. Her album Death and the Maiden, which includes works from Dowland to Kurtág, won a Grammy Award in 2018. Her most recent release, with the pianist Polina Leschenko, is of sonatas by Bartók and Poulenc.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2002 playing the Sibelius Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Mariss Jansons.
July 2019Other dates